Lack of accomodation forces teachers to squat in classrooms

Lack of accommodation for teachers at Kamwanjili Primary School in Mambwe district is reported to have forced some teachers to start living in classrooms.

Speaking in an interview with journalists, Benda Banda who is a concerned parent in the area says that the lack of accommodation for teachers at the school has been a problem for a while.

She says that the decision by the school administration to turn the classroom into a house means that the over four hundred pupils at the school do not have enough classrooms for their lessons, leading to congestion in classrooms.

Ms. Banda says that the community has molded over twenty thousand bricks to help in building staff houses but lack of funds, as created challenges in procuring other building materials.

And commenting on the matter, Provincial Education Officer Allan Lingambe says that he will engage the District Education Board Secretary for Mambwe District to get details on the matter and find a solution.

He says that if there are no houses in the area where teachers can rent, then the Ministry of Education needs to sit down with the PTA, Parent Teachers Association and other stakeholders to come up with a way forward to sort out the problem.

He says most rural schools in the province have serious critical shortage of staff accommodation and PTAs have played a big role in ensuring that houses for teachers are built.

Eastern water to introduce performance based contracts

Eastern Water and Sewerage Company is to introduce performance based contracts this year for its workers.

This is expected to address issues of unretired impress, missing payment vouchers and poor record keeping as cited in the auditor general’s report.

Eastern Water and Sewerage Company Managing Director, Lytone Kanowa said this when he appeared before the parliamentary public accounts committee yesterday.

Mr. Kanowa stated that there is need for the company to introduce performance based contracts and build capacity among members of staff to improve capacity.

He further stated that the company needs restructuring to ensure multi-skilling to get the most out of personnel.

Mr. Kanowa also disclosed that from its 2015-2017 business plan, the company only achieved 55 per cent of the plan while non-revenue water stood at 38 per cent instead of 25 per cent.

Meanwhile commercial water utility companies in the country have been operating without boards for some time now.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Water Development Eddy Chomba says that establishment of boards has been delayed because of the moving of commercial water utilities from Ministry of Local Government to Ministry of Energy and Water Development.

Speaking when he appeared before the parliamentary public accounts committee, Bishop Chomba, who was inquired over the delay to set up boards, noted that the boards will be put in place this year.

Various members of the parliamentary committee expressed concern that all utility water companies in the country seem to be facing similar challenges especially dilapidated infrastructure.

 Meanwhile most underground water in Eastern Province has high content of calcium.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Water Development Eddy Chomba disclosed this when he appeared before the parliamentary public accounts committee yesterday.

Bishop Chomba explained that the calcium content is so high that if water is not properly treated, it can block a water pipe.

Lundazi prosecutor jailed for corruption

The Lundazi Magistrate Court has sentenced a prosecutor for Zambia Police in Lundazi to two years, four months imprisonment with hard labour for corruption.

Resident Magistrate Destiny Kalusopa found Dominic Chiboboka 30, guilty on one count of corrupt practices by a public officer contrary to section 19 (1)of the anti-corruption Act no. 3 of 2012.

Details of the offence are that Chiboboka in January 2016 in Lundazi, being a Zambia police public prosecutor based at Lundazi Police, corruptly solicited for 3, 000 Kwacha.

He actually received 2, 000 Kwacha  from John Nyirenda of Mkawa village in Lundazi, in order to facilitate the withdrawal of a case of rape that he was prosecuting involving Tenthema Nyirenda, a nephew to John Nyirenda.

This is according to a statement made available to ZANIS in Lusaka yesterday by Anti-Corruption Commission Corporate Affairs Officer Jonathan Siame.

Mr. Siame said Chiboboka was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission in January 2017.

Meanwhile, the Lundazi Magistrate Court also convicted two Community Crime Prevention Officers for corruption.

Joseph Demba, 58, of Kamwezi village in Chief Zumwanda’s area and Alick Lungu, 52, of Chinyalubwe of the same area were jointly charged with one count of corrupt practices by a public officer contrary to section 19 (1) of the Anti-Corruption Act No. 3 of 2012.

 

 

He said the duo on dates unknown but between March 9, 2015 and March 15, 2015 in Lundazi, being Public Officers under Lundazi Police Neighbourhood Watch, jointly and whilst acting together corruptly solicited and actually received K360 cash from Bydon Zimba.

This was a bribe in order not to formally report the allegations of murder against him and his family to Lundazi Police.

Mr. Siame stated that the duo was sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labour with effect from 23rd March, 2018.

Lumezi MP accused of neglecting Chikomeni area

People of Chikomeni area in Lundazi district have accused Lumezi Member of Parliament Pilila Jere of not developing the area.

Luka Mwale, one of the residents says Kamimba ward has lagged behind in development and that Mrs. Jere does not visit the area whenever she visits her constituency.

Mr. Mwale told Breeze FM News that Mrs. Jere should have a keen interest to visit communities and hear their challenges.

He mentioned shortage of health workers at Chikomeni health post and deplorable state of roads as some of the challenges facing people in the area.

Meanwhile, Lumezi Member of Parliament Pilila Jere told Breeze FM News that she was last in her constituency in January this year to check on some of the developmental projects.

Mrs. Jere says when she visited the area, her focus was to check on crossing points, where bridges are expected to be constructed.

She says she will be visiting her constituency next week to look at some of challenges people are facing.

Illegal settlers at Chipata forest given hope

Chipata Central Member of Parliament, Moses Mawere, has announced that government it will de-gazette Chipata local forest reserve for settlement.

Today the settlers in the forest reserve chanted joyful songs as Mr. Mawere, who is also Minister of Youth, Sports and Child Development made the announcement when he was addressing them.

Mr. Mawere assured the residents not to panic as the land will be de-gazetted.

Mr. Mawere said despite him not being around since the issues of having the settlers evicted from the forest reserve started, he has been fighting for the de-gazetting of the area on behalf of residents, to the higher authorities.

He noted that it is, however, important for people, who have settled in the area to acknowledge the fact that the area is indeed a forest reserve and not a settlement area.

Mr. Mawere said the rapid growth of the district has come with demand for land, which led to people ending up encroaching on such areas.

He however, summoned the area chairpersons to a meeting to be held at provincial administration on Monday next week, to convey the message to the provincial minister that the land shall be de-gazetted.

Government to remove bad eggs in Ministry of Agriculture

Government has instructed that the performance of all agriculture extension officers in Eastern Province be reviewed.

The Provincial Administration has therefore, asked the Provincial Agriculture Coordinator to instruct all District Agriculture Coordinators to carry out the review.

Speaking during a press briefing in Chipata, Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo, says government has discovered that some of the enemies of the E-Voucher system are the extension workers, who were employed to help the system work, but are instead sabotaging it.

He says extension officers that were benefiting from the old system are discouraging farmers from registering for the E-Voucher system.

Mr. Kasolo notes that this is being done so that government can be forced to revert to the old system, where there were loopholes for officers to create ghost farmers.

Mr. Kasolo says that the E-Voucher system faced a lot of challenges in the 2017/2018 farming season, but emphasized that government is determined to correct the situation.

He says one of the solutions is to replace all the non performing extension workers with others that will perform their duties properly.

Mr. Kasolo says he expects all District Agriculture Coordinators to present reports of their findings after the performance review, fourteen days from the day he issued the instruction.

Police release Evelyn Hone students but charge three

Police say that they have released all students from Evelyn Hone College in Lusaka who were arrested for riotous behaviour.

Police Spokesperson Esther Mwata Katongo says that the 333 students were released after paying Admission of guilty fine.

She however, says that three students, Emmanuel Kalangwa, who is student union President, Muuma Angel and Daliso Sichivula, the academic secretary have been charged for proposing violence.

The offence is contrary to section 91 of the penal code Chapter 87 of the laws of Zambia.

Ms. Katongo says that the trio was released on police bond.

The students on Thursday this week run amok pulling down wall fences separating the leaning institution from NIPA, National Institute of Public Administration and Zambia Centre for Accountancy Studies.

The students rioted in protest over the alleged irregularities in the results of their TEVETA November-December 2017 examinations.

TBZ puts a hold on companies running floors

Tobacco Board of Zambia TBZ says that no tobacco company will be allowed to run floors during this marketing season.

TBZ Chief Executive Officer James Kasongo told Breeze FM News, that TBZ will personally run the floors to ensure that farmers are not exploited.

Mr. Kasongo further says that previously, some tobacco companies were involved in weighing of tobacco, classifying and arbitration, which is not supposed to be the case.

And Mr. Kasongo says that only two floors will operate in Eastern Province this marketing season, which opens on April 3rd.

He says that Chipata Main Floor and Kavulamungu floor have been cleared to operate while Mugubudu floor will not open because of poor hygiene.

Mr. Kasongo further says that JTI might start buying tobacco early following the company’s request to start buying the produce this week but TBZ will make a final decision this morning after JTI avails its buying prices.

And Mr. Kasongo says that the reduction in tobacco buying floors will create challenges to farmers who will have to move long distances in transporting their crop.

He says that more than 500 farmers in Muchinga province have grown tobacco and will have to transport their produce to Lusaka or Chipata.

Illegal settlers at Chipata Forest given hope

Illegal settlers facing eviction at Chipata Forest Reserve chanted joyful songs yesterday after being promised that President Edgar Lungu will resolve their matter today.

This was during a meeting with the squatters, which was chaired by PF Provincial Secretary Joseph Kolosa, who was accompanied by other party officials.

Mr. Kolosa said that President Lungu would be meeting local government minister Vincent Mwale, Eastern Province Minister Makebi Zulu, PF Provincial Chairperson Andrew Lubusha and Minister of Lands Jean Kapata at 14 hours today to resolve the matter.

Mr. Kolosa said that affected people should not worry over eviction letters issued to them by the Forest Department because the area will be degazzeted by President Lungu.

Mr. Kolosa charged that the only person who has authority to evict them from the forest reserve is President Lungu.

He told the squatters to start celebrating in advance because President Lungu will listen to their cry just like he listened to the Jerabos in Kitwe district.

And speaking earlier, East Rise Chairperson Andrew Biemba who, acknowledged being an illegal settler, appealed to President Lungu to degazzete the area.

Bishop Biemba said this is because vulnerable people have spent all their resources in putting up structures in the area.

He said that the area, which has over 7,000 people, cannot be a forest reserve because it is about one and half kilometers away from the central business center.

Expired food products confiscted from Choppies Chipata

A combined team of council and health inspectors have confiscated expired and unlabeled food products from Choppies Supermarket in Chipata.

Chipata City Council Public Relations Manager, Kameko Manda has confirmed to Breeze News.

Ms. Manda says that the food products were confiscated during the time, the health inspectors were conducting inspections on banned processed meat products from South Africa that are contaminated with Listeria bacteria.

She says that the council immediately obtained a court order to destroy all the expired and unlabeled food products that were confiscated from Choppies Supermarket.

Meanwhile Ms. Banda says during yesterday’s joint inspection process by the council and Ministry of health, it was discovered that most chain stores had already removed the banned products.

She further says that tests that were conducted on other South African meat products found that they were not contaminated.

A spot check by Breeze News this morning found that most chain stores have removed all South African imported meat and vegetable products while others have not.

And in response, Ms. Manda said the directive was not to remove all South African products but those that are from a manufacturing company which products had contaminated with Listeria bacteria.

Yesterday Provincial Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo advised people to avoid all South African imported meat and vegetable products until investigations are concluded.